International Orthopaedics

, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp 141–148 | Cite as

Early clinical and radiological outcomes of reverse shoulder arthroplasty with an eccentric all-polyethylene glenosphere to treat failed hemiarthroplasty and the sequelae of proximal humeral fractures

  • Giovanni MerollaEmail author
  • Antonio Tartarone
  • John W. Sperling
  • Paolo Paladini
  • Elisabetta Fabbri
  • Giuseppe Porcellini
Original Paper



The aim of this study was to assess the effectiveness of reverse total shoulder arthroplasty (RTSA) with an all-polyethylene glenosphere in patients with failed hemiarthroplasty (HH) or the sequelae of proximal humeral fractures.


Thirty-six patients were assessed at a mean follow-up of 36 months using clinical scores and recording shoulder range of movement (ROM).


Active anterior elevation (p < 0.001), lateral elevation (p < 0.001) and internal rotation (p < 0.0001) improved significantly, whereas improvement in external rotation was not significant. The mean Constant score rose significantly from 8.5 ± 7.6 to 40.7 ± 15.7 (p < 0.001) and the Simple Shoulder Test score from 0.42 ± 0.85 to 5.5 ± 2.6 (p < 0.001). Pain improved significantly from 8.7 ± 0.9 to 2.3 ± 1.2 (p < 0.001). Implant radiographic survivorship was 84.6 %. Scapular notching was detected in 7/36 patients (17.5 %). There were five complications: one (stiffness) among patients with fracture sequelae and four among those with failed HH (instability, n = 2; humeral component disassembly, n = 1; pain, n = 1). The two groups did not exhibit significant differences in pain, clinical scores or ROM.


RTSA with an all-polyethylene glenosphere may have the potential to reduce the risk of biological notching due to polyethylene osteolysis. Further long-term studies are required to assess its efficacy.


The good clinical performance and reasonable rate of notching of the polyethylene glenosphere support its use in primary and revision shoulder arthroplasty.

Level of evidence: Level 4, retrospective therapeutic case series.


Shoulder Reverse arthroplasty Polyethylene glenosphere Fracture sequelae Failed hemiarthroplasty 


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Copyright information

© SICOT aisbl 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giovanni Merolla
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Antonio Tartarone
    • 1
  • John W. Sperling
    • 3
  • Paolo Paladini
    • 1
  • Elisabetta Fabbri
    • 4
  • Giuseppe Porcellini
    • 1
  1. 1.Unit of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery, D. Cervesi HospitalCattolicaItaly
  2. 2.Biomechanics Laboratory “Marco Simoncelli”, D. Cervesi HospitalCattolicaItaly
  3. 3.Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Mayo ClinicRochesterUSA
  4. 4.Research and Innovation Department, AUSL della RomagnaAmbito Territoriale di RiminiRiminiItaly

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